Finding and Following Passion to First Job: Asia Motta ’22 ’23 Lands Dream Role with Covia Holdings

Asia Motta
Asia Motta ’22 ’23 began her career in May after graduating with her master’s degree from Michigan Tech in April.

Anastasia “Asia” Motta’s ’22 ’23 first post-college job happens to be everything she could have dreamed of. After earning her BS in engineering management in 2022, followed by achieving the Master in Engineering Management the following spring, Motta is now a Continuous Improvement Engineer with Oregon, Illinois-based Covia Holdings. Motta, from Rockford, Michigan, fills a brand new role for the sand mining company. Her position is tasked with evaluating mining operations and sand processing to identify inefficiencies, safety concerns, and areas for improvement. Then, she develops and manages collaborative projects focused on those key issues.

“I have free reign to go out and collect whatever data is needed to learn about the processes to truly understand the plant. I use the data and observations to identify my own projects that I can prioritize, plan, and manage—from cradle to the grave,” Motta says.

Motta, who also served as a peer career coach on campus, says her work responsibilities allow her to use the full set of skills gained at Tech—from project management to data analysis to presentations, entrepreneurial thinking, and much more. 

While firmly rooted in her path now, that wasn’t always the case for Motta, who began her Tech journey in civil engineering before “realizing halfway into the first semester that it wasn’t for me.” Switching to engineering management, housed in the College of Business, Motta admits she still felt a bit lost when it came to her career focus. It wasn’t until landing in Roger Woods’ quantitative problem-solving class where everything started to gel. “I loved everything about that class, and it led to an internship in continuous improvement, where I became certain CI was my calling.”

After taking a course in Six Sigma, a set of management techniques to improve business processes, and advanced project management, also with Woods, Motta grew even more confident in her passion. 

The Covia interview process was intense. Motta had two online interviews, two in-person sessions, and a plant tour over spring break, prior to being offered the position. Why was Motta the person for the role? “They said one of the key highlights was the Advanced Project Management class. During the interview I had explained to them how the class revolves around real-world scenarios…this year is focused on a ransomware protection and prevention plan, and that we work in small teams to fully develop a plan to present at an intercollegiate competition. It’s as close to real-world project management as one can get without being a project manager,” Motta describes.  

Motta became sold on the role due to the sense of ownership: “I’m not just adding to projects, I am leading them—right out of college! I am making a real difference for the company, our customers, and our employees.”

“I truly thank Tech, the College of Business, and Roger Woods for this amazing opportunity.”

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accountingbusiness analyticsconstruction managementeconomicsengineering managementfinancemanagementmanagement information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.